Child Custody for Unmarried Parents | What To Know in New Jersey

As an unmarried parent, you may be wondering what child custody distribution may look like for your situation. Child custody is typically handled through a divorce. However, unmarried parents will determine child custody terms differently. Continue reading to learn your options as an unmarried parent to distribute child custody. Plus, learn the two types of custody that are available in New Jersey. If you require assistance with this process, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced family law attorney who will walk you through each step of this journey to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

What is a non-dissolution “FD” case?

You and the child’s other parent must enter a non-dissolution “FD” case that will give you and the child’s other parent the right to establish legal paternity for the child, the right to establish a parenting time court order for biological parents, the right to give grandparents/adult sibling visitation orders, the right to establish legal custody orders for a minor, and the right to child support or alimony enforcement.

What types of custody are available in New Jersey?

There are two primary types of custody available in New Jersey: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where a child primarily resides. When a parent has sole physical custody, this means that the child primarily resides with them. Legal custody refers to a parent’s legal right to make life decisions on behalf of their child. This may include medical care decisions, decisions regarding the religion the child practices, and decisions regarding where the child goes to get their education. Courts will give both parents joint custody in many cases because this is generally the best decision for both parents to contribute and take part in their child’s life. However, if one parent is deemed unfit to parent, and poses a risk to the child, New Jersey courts may award one parent sole custody of the child.

If you have any additional questions regarding physical custody and legal custody for unmarried parents in New Jersey, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced family law attorney. Give our firm a call to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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